In many cultures, the level of family relationship with the ancestors of sufficiently high. This is true even of American families who adopted early separation from parents and family lives of elderly parents separately from the family of adult children ( “empty nest”). Craig shows that the role of the grandparents can be especially important in the case of single-parent families (in such families now living one in five children in the US) and in case if the mother is forced to work (this is the situation in virtually every second family with children up to 3 years (US Bureau of the Census, 1993) (. cited by Craig G., 2002).
The Russian families, the role of “third generation” (or even grandparents) are particularly high. In Russia, this time 12% of single-parent families (Boyko VV, Ohanyan KM, Kopytenkova OI), the majority of women work. In many families, nominally (for registration and, accordingly, on the census) is the nuclear, there is a kind of “Institute coming grandmothers”, which act as babysitters (for pre-school grandchildren) and governesses (support to schools and assistance in the preparation of grandchildren lessons -shkolnikov). We can say that in many families grandmother played the role of “the family of the holder.” In particular, this situation can be seen in the destroyed, “eroded” families disintegrated or failed
marital functioning (for example, non-marital births in teenage mothers).
By “family Holder” term we understand a family member who most feels and bears the responsibility for the family and the future prospects of children. Such a role, according to our data, the rural grandmothers play in relation to their grandchildren, born city already mothers – their daughters or daughters-. This is most clearly evident in the case of eroded (in structure) families (who are disadvantaged to carry out its functions). Prasemya (usually a grandmother, great-grandmother sometimes) are taking care of their grandchildren, it assumes responsibility for him and his future, interacts with external organizations (registration of guardianship, the school interaction, municipal authorities, etc.). In the case of illness or death of a grandmother-holder family grandchildren find themselves in one way or another under the tutelage of the state, as none of the other family members (mother, father, or an illegitimate) is not able to take care of the child. But this is an extreme case, usually the grandmother plays a positive role in the family, helping working mothers to raise a child.
American psychologists say that the functions of grandparents is usually different from the parent, and they are set slightly different attachment relationships with grandchildren. Ancestors often evince approval, compassion and sympathy, support, and rarely punished grandchildren. Sometimes these relationships are more playful and looseness (Lewis, 1987). Grandma often tells his grandchildren about his childhood or the childhood of their parents, which contributes to the formation in children a sense of family identity and tradition (Craig G., 2002).
Russian authors point to the increasing importance and variety of opportunities and grandparents in the family. This psychotherapeutic (emotional) support to the mother during pregnancy, and the Council in the event of conflicts in the family, and playing with his grandchildren, and the regulation of the relationship between grandchildren (support first child for the second child), and preparation for the grandson of the school, and, of course, , student assistance, etc. (Pankov, L., 1998).
The author points out the difference in relationship to the grandchildren of the mother of parents and the parents of his father: “If the relationship with the daughter does not add up, complicated relationship with his son, often fade away and grandchildren by the son. Grandchildren same side daughter closer, and they are forever. ” In case of divorce, the mother’s parents begin to further help her childcare. “So the child formed a completely absurd notions -” own grandma “or” grandpa real ” (ibid, p 116.). The author writes that the families of the “fair Grandma” on the father agrees to help in the care of a grandson by a son and a daughter from, but removed from the burden of raising her second child. We can say that from the mother’s family does not have the same possibilities of internal and behavioral “demobilization” of grandchildren.
Czech authors write about the positive role of grandparents, of their mutual love and affection for his grandchildren, pointing out that when the parents divorce should not interrupt the relationship of the older generation with loved grandchildren, which they were grown. Often, divorce is much harder for parents divorcing spouse than for themselves (Single Parenting, 1980).
AI Zakharov stops at the negative impact of grandparents in the family, considering the sample of families with sons, 7-8 years, learning difficulties in first grade. “It should be noted the special role of grandparents is reduced to a minimum activity of children their bothersome instructions, orders and prohibitions. They authoritatively planted their understanding, their way of life. Their belief in the correctness defied logic dissuasion (AI Zakharov, 2000, p. 82). According to their character traits they were authoritarian woman with a paranoid mood and anxiety.